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tv   This Week in Northern California  PBS  September 8, 2012 1:30am-2:00am PDT

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captioning by vitac, underwritten by fireman's fund i'm belva davis reporting from the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. a key state for president obama's re-election. madam woman, delegates, i accept your nomination. >> belva: the president asks for four more years to finish what he started. californians played a major role. >> our next speaker will place before you that nomination. >> belva: plus, a one on one conversation with california
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attorney general kamala harris. >> i'm so proud as a daughter of california to represent california on issues of what we should get in the foreclosure crisis and technology and so many other issues. >> belva: coming up next. >> belva: hello. i'm belva davis. welcome to this special edition of "this week in northern california." as we continue our convention
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coverage, things are winding down here in charlotte, democrats gathered to make their case to reelect president obama. throughout the week, i heard from many california delegates about what a second baobama ter would mean to them and the country. >> america, you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone play by the same rules. i need you to vote this november. >> belva: last night, as the president made his case f re-election, some of the support came from the california delegation. throughout the week, california democrats took center stage in the proceedings further evidence of the state's evidence on the state's direction. >> we are a party of inclusion and our platform speaks to the
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aspirations of all. >> belva: california has one of the most diverse and largest delegations here. 609 votes. about 10% of the total number of votes cast. though the president is expected to sweep the blue state in november, delegates and party official, like san francisco mayor ed lee say, there is no room for complacency. >> we have a lot to worry about. this is such a critical election and if we don't get president obama reelected, we're in for some really hot water. there is so much of our economy tied with what the does and doesn't do. >> belva: voter i.d. laws passed in republican swing states are of concern to congress member barbara lee. >> these laws, unfortunately, on the books in 36 states. we can't get them off the books. thank goodness they are in court. the courts are overturning some
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of these. we are working to make sure people know what they have to do and get people to the polls. we need to get people out. >> belva: another base that could help the favor of barack obama is the youth vote says jennifer yongley. >> i'm here at the dnc. 52% are from california and they are really excited about that. we are excited to knock on the doors and vote for obama and proposition 30. if not, tuition will go up more. >> belva: earlier in the week, delegates joined local charlotte residents to help kickoff the convention with labor day parade. it was an opportunity for democrats to draw attention to support for organized labor in the right-to-work state. tim paulson is the democratic
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chair of the party. >> we are talking about the good wages and pensions we are talking about medicare and medi-cal and social security. we are here to make sure the country is fired up about it. there is a great contingent of labor here. we are about 20% of the entire delegation across the country. we are going to continue to, you know, do the fight for worker justice. >> belva: joining the fight were teachers' unions as well. >> test scores continue to go up in spite of the cuts and the loss of 30,000 educators over the last few years. we are excited to get the house back in democratic hands to stop the obstructionism we have seen. >> belva: dianne feinstein has talked about the gridlock in congress. >> what they have simply done is oppose the president. not cooperate. in no way, shape or form do they
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cooperate. it is a huge mistake. what goes around comes around. to put the senate in a position of just where one party is just recalcitrint, it doesn't stand together. >> we need to stand to win back the house for democrats. >> belva: redistricting has led to competitive races for the large number of seats. delegate walter johnson is from kings county, where the newly drawn district is a hotly contested race. >> we will keep pounding the pavement and keep calling and knocking on door and do our part to get people out. we will not stop. our intent is to turn that red community blue again.
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>> belva: last week, we reported on republican sentiment that california is essentially a failed state. this week, lieutenant governor galvin neusome fired back. >> manufacturing is up in jobs. the service industry is up in jobs. >> for certain, san francisco is the third lowest unemployment rate in the state of california. we're doing it because we have a good start. president obama's programs, particularly american recover act was essential. >> belva: now democrats need to convince voters that reelecting president obama is essential to continuing a path to economic recovery. >> as we work through the issues of debt, entitlement and budget deficit s and wall of debt, we
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can work on the research and development and the things that made california so great. >> california! california! >> belva: for analysis of convention highlights and california role in upcoming election, i'm joined by joe garofoli from the "san francisco chronicle." kitty felde, washington correspondent for kpcc, california public radio and debra saunders, columnist for the "san francisco chronicle." some exciting times. do you think or did the democrats deliver on bringing energy to president obama's bid for re-election? >> i think bill clinton was definitely the star of the week. even he outshined the president, i think, with his speech.
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think michelle obama had a better speech. the president's speech was good, but it is hard when he is asking for more time. it's almost like an apologetic speech. >> let's talk about four years ago when we were in denver. barack obama gave the amazing speech. he columns behind him. he is not the one anymore. bill clinton was the one. michelle obama was the one. barack obama just didn't have the oomph he had before. >> it is hard to recreate the star circumstance. >> you can't. >> belva: after four years hearing this president on the air repeatedly delivering almost the same message. americans get bored after ten seconds. >> quite frankly, we're still stuck in the recession. the jobs numbers came out. we are not putting enough folks back to work.
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that is what he promised four years ago. >> belva: were they good or were they bad? >> they were disappointing. >> they were bad. they were bad. >> belva: what is bad to the three of you? >> the wrong numbers are 8.1% unemployment which is down from what it was. people are looking for work. 96,000 jobs were created. >> it is it is expectation. you expected things to improve after july. >> belva: california numbers are looking up. this is incremental journey. >> california is third highest unemployment in the nation. here's the thing, we are in a recovery, but we're not getting the benefits of the recovery. we know a lot of companies are sitting on the capital. they are not hiring. they are afraid. barack obama has done nothing to quell that anxiety and nothing to tell the public sector it is
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safe. you can start hiring. when you see these job numbers, it only punctuates the fact he is not moving the country the way it needs to be moved. >> belva: can we talk about the convention and see if it relates to what is in the room for the last three days. >> i want to go back to clinton. the california delegates -- the convention is full of grass roots organizers. what they said is bill clinton gave me the words to use. one woman who volunteered coordinator in pasadena, she said bill clinton gave me words to use to tell volunteers when i'm on the phone. nobody else did that. >> he articulated what the democratic party is doing. >> belva: the democrats are saying this was a starting point. i didn't need anybody who said the message is what we heard in the auditorium. one group, though, that has seemed satisfied was the gay
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community. >> yeah. >> belva: they were repeatedly called to the front. what about that move on behalf of the president to bring them into community and their response to it? >> there may be a backlash, right, joe? >> in the hall and gay community, it was huge. big week for folks and gay folks. the first time the democratic party platform acknowledged or endorsed same-sex marriage in the platform. i got to north carolina a couple days early and went to a black church. the supporters four years ago, you know what, they say they are not for gay marriage. they will not vote. they will not vote for romney. this could hurt them in swing states. already anti-same-sex marriage are organizing against. >> north carolina, it is guts
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for the democrats. he won the state by a mere 14,000 votes. this is risky what he is doing. then the numbers of the swing states have banned state same-sex marriage from the constitution. this could kill the democrats in the chances for the white house. he has decided he will put a stake on this and win or lose by it. >> frankly, it is a real good fund raising move. you had a lot of activists who were sitting on their hands and wallets. once the president said this is going forward, folks started giving money. >> belva: the danger zone used to be the democrats were too liberal and lose the rest of america. what did you feel at this convention in terms of the liberals having their say? have you heard any complaints that things did not move far
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enough? >> this is a generally progressive group. they are happy with things. there was the big fumble this week. it was when the platform didn't include the word god. republicans call that out. it also changed or removed the party position of israel. they had to ram that back in and we got to see that on television. it was a voice vote. it was terrible. it wa a bad moment. >> belva: did it allow obama to show leadership here because he's the one that said i want this changed? >> antonio villaraigosa served as the enforcer here. when he gave the voice vote, there were more people for it than against it. he had them vote again. the third time, it passes. although it was about the same. he was the enforcer. i saw him yesterday. he said, i listened to
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everybody. everybody had a voice. they had ten minutes to object and nobody did. >> i want to talk about the way this happened. i talked to delegates yesterday morning who did not hear about this until the voice vote was called for. one person said they were in the ladies' room. i talked to someone from muslim caucus. half of our folks were not in the seats. they did it at 5:00 in the afterno afternoon. democrats were outraged over the process. one pundit said we would have done it at gop, but after midnight. >> i talked to michael, a former san francisco supervisor. he ran the convention platform in 2008. the first rule is do not harm. don't have a major embarrassm t
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embarrassment. hue closely to the platform. >> one more strike on that rules thing which is antonio villaraigosa was supposed to be the rising star. hinted that he was running for vp. he has been hitting all of the swing states. this video will follow him the next four yeayears. >> it is a bad move for tony v. >> belva: the republicans had their own moment in the women's right to choose. it was a fumble to those in this hall hered in charlotte. >> i wasn't in tampa. i watched in television. >> belva: let's do comparing to the messages that got out. clarification of messages or enthusiasm that is coming from this. what can we expect?
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>> i went to both. what we learned from both parties is they are not playing to the middle. they are playing to the bases. republicans, they talked a message of small business owners and they did thwhat they wantedo do. barack obama did what he wanted to do. i don't know what they will do for the middle. they want to energize people. they want people to turn out and vote. >> that is key. >> that is the key. that is the sad thing. it means the country moves further to the right or further to the left. if anybody is hoping that we'll have more comedy, i can assure you these conventions do not give one of the sense it could happen. >> belva: we mentioned that one pundit i heard that these are the best conventions. do you agree?
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>> i think michelle obama strong. she came across as the mom next door. a real person. that is what people liked. bill clinton, as we mentioned earlier. >> i would have to say there were amazing speeches. >> i have to say paul ryan's speech. i watched it on television. it was a really good speech. i know everybody was complaining about it. he was good. >> that's the only one, right, joe? >> you can do a fact check. >> i spent a week doing fact check. >> he put in incredible language over trying to say what the republicans said. people said he was too wonky. >> belva: that is why we have you here. earlier, i had a chance to talk with california attorney general kamala harriharris harris. she is seen as a rising star who could run for governor of
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california. her prime time speech was high listen anticipated. >> and winning $25 billion for struggling homeowners. that's leadership. that's what president obama did. and that's why we need to give him another four years. [ applause ] >> belva: first of all, thank you for coming on. we are delighted you are here. you talked about your mom and the home mortgage crisis and the $26 billion settlement. has any of that money really gotten to people yet? >> absolutely. part of our role in the national mortgage settlement -- the
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primary role was to advocate for citizens of california. we were able to bring $18 billion back to california. in addition to what happened to the national settlement, which was one monitor for the entire country, i was going to g appoi one for california because we are so big. i wanted to make sure we get everything that we deserve to receive. the homeowners need help. we don't want to wait later. we want to monitor it on a daily basis. >> belva: bring you back charlotte. a video where the senior woman introduced an "all fired up" group. can they do anything when they go home to change what some have seen as a dampening. >> i was there. i will tell you democrats are fired up and ready to go and
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ready to reelect barack obama, president of the united states. it has been an incredible convention. there are two audiences. the people in the hall who are primarily delegates, which means they are already active in the party and selected by members of the party to elect them. there is the television audience, millions of people. some undecided. others may be needing a bit of motivation. i think that this convention provided that for both audiences. people are very excited. in the midst of understanding that the president and our country werine facing a lot of challenges. he is the one to take us forward. >> belva: there were many themes. the state of women and women's health. do you think there is a better understanding and does it help with the issue of what has
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become obama care? >> i'll give you real life story. the technician is cleaning my teeth. she said i will do everything i can to reelect this president barack obama. she never said anything political to me before. you know why? she's pregnant and she was trying to get improved insurance coverage to get pre-natal care. she was denied by two insurance companies. when she went for improved care, she had a pre-existing condition. i said what's wrong with you and she said she's pregnant. true story. i think women have been experiencing it for so long. now they know they actually don't have to put up with that. womeny the very nature don't have to have pre-existing condition. it has hit the ground. parents know they have put their 26-year-old or younger on their insurance policies. seniors know the doughnut hole
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is covered and they can have access to the prescriptions they need at an affordable rate. people know. >> belva: we have to push ahead with gay marriage. >> okay. >> belva: the first president to endorse that. >> right. he did the right thing. >> belva: you thinkhe message is out. is that battle over with? >> that battle is over. the president, as he said, he involved to a point that all people should evolve to. there is one group in our society that is legally discriminated against. you know, as a child of parents who met in civil rights movement, i feel very strongly about that point. i think we all do. you do, belva, with your long history and commitment to civil rights. let's be true to the principles of the constitution. >> belva: finally, the role of government briefly. you still feel that is valid? >> yes. the really sad aspect of the
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conversation that the republicans are trying to have in this race. to suggest that government is bad and there is no role for government. remember the marshall plan. you don't have to go back very far. you can look recently to know there is an important and legitimate role for government that uplifts the lives of people in this country. i absolutely do believe in the nobility of public service and the services for those in need. >> belva: you gained a national reputation of the foreclosure issue. let's talk about your future. were you happy to stand there were barack obama or ready to settle to run for governor? >> you just threw that out there. i love being attorney general of california. i am halfway into my term.
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when i walk into my office in sacramento or walk into ai meeting with the national association of attorneys general, i'm proud to represent california on issues of what we should get with the foreclosure crisis and issues of technology and proviivacy. i truly believe you have to stay focused on what is ahead of you. >> belva: thank you for joining us. >> thank you, belva. >> belva: it has been an exciting two weeks of bringing you highlights of the republican and democratic national conventions. that is all the time we have. i thank all of my guests for joining me here. remember to visit for our show archives and everything you may have missed. next week, san francisco mayor ed lee joins us. i'm belva davis.
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thank you for watching. good night.
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